When working on her family farm in Bega, Jade Moxey often sees sheep feeding on fireweed. It made her wonder whether this toxic weed is moving through the food chain onto the dinner plate. Fireweed contains Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids (PAs) which can be toxic. Jade studied whether PAs entered the food chain as a result of sheep feeding on the toxic weed. She conducted blood testing, liver analysis and liver histopathology to determine whether residual PAs were present in the tissue of sheep.
Investigating the effects of increased freshwater temperature on a number of abiotic factors, as well as on populations of phytoplankton, zooplankton and algae, Eleanor collected numerous measurements and conducted a rigorous statistical analysis of the data in order to ascertain the statistical significance of her results. She thus assessed the validity of her results and their significance for the impact of climate change on the biodiversity of freshwater environments.
With an average of 21 Australians drowning each year in ocean rips and 90 percent of beach rescues related to rips, many swimmers lives would be saved if they were alerted in advance to avoid dangerous beaches. Inspired by her work as a lifeguard, Maddison King developed a warning system for rips, powered by the rips themselves. A turbine in her device uses the energy from the rip to power a warning signal to swimmers. Her biggest challenge was making the device waterproof and establishing an anchoring system that would not interfere with the turbine.
A quick clean-up of oil spills can reduce the devastating consequences of these environmental disasters on marine environments. Rebekah Kang developed a method for separating oil from water by using magnets, pantyhose and feathers. She found that magnetite granules sprinkled on oil were able to separate oil from water when swept by a device containing a magnet and organic materials such as feathers. She hopes her research could be the basis for a more effective natural clean up method of oil spills in the future.
It’s not often that a Year 10 student carries out clinical trials on a breast cancer device, but that’s exactly what 16-year-old Macinley Butson is doing with the Breast Shield device she invented. Macinley, who hopes to study medicine and specialise as a pathologist, developed an innovative copper device that can be used as a shield for women receiving radiation treatment for breast cancer. The device, which is made from high density interwoven copper scales, protects the contralateral breast from receiving radiation doses. This would reduce the long-term cancer risks to healthy tissue from radiation treatment.
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The 2017 STANSW Young Scientist students are about to travel to Los Angeles to represent Australia at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. The students are truly inspiring and it is exciting to see the amazing talent that Australia has to offer. To follow their journey over the next few weeks follow the team on
NSW Young Scientist students took out 3 of the 6 major awards at the national 2017 BHP Billiton Science and Engineering Awards. Jade Moxey (left) from Sapphire Coast Anglican School won 1st place in the Investigation category with her project “Grazing Sheep on Deadly Fireweed: A “BaaaaD” Situation?”. Rebekah Kang, PLC Sydney (right) took out 3rd place in the same category with her “Slick and Clean – An investigation into how magnetite can be used with organic sorbents in oil spill clean-up” project. Both Jade and Rebekah will be representing the six-strong Young Scientist team at the 2017 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair to be held in Los Angeles in May. Brothers Callum & Declan Predavec, Mosman High School, won 2nd place in the Engineering category and will be joining the BHPBSEA team at ISEF. They developed two ingenious visibility safety features to increase bike safety.
The 2016 K-12 STANSW Young Scientist – IIATE Models & Innovations Award Winners.
Congratulations to all students who entered for your amazingly innovative projects
A good scientific investigation uses a systematic approach to answer questions about the world around us. Ann Hanna, Professional Development Officer of the STANSW Young Scientist Awards Committee, explains how students can carry out investigations that are not only systematic, but also reliable and engaging. Read the full article on the ABC Splash site here